Assignment Four: A Yarn Collection

The aims of this assignment are:

  • demonstrate my ability to value all stages of the design development process
  • build on my ability to be selective and analytical of my design and presentation decisions.

The brief of Assignment Four is to pull together the work from Part 4: Yarn and Linear Exploration to create a cohesive collection. As yarns can be difficult to display clearly and effectively this assignment requires me to address the presentation of the work.

Sketchbook Pages

When I reviewed all the samples I had made, there were two samples in particular that didn’t seem as interesting or relevant and these were placed into my sketchbook. Although I didn’t like some of the samples wrapped on mount board from Exercise 4.1, when presented together there did appear to be a logical progression from one sample to the next as I tried out different ideas. A few are not particularly well executed as I was building up my spinning skill however one of the aims of this assignment is “to value all stages of the design development process” which I am taking to mean that there is merit even in samples that didn’t work very well. It can be seen that by Exercise 4.4 I was able to spin yarns with more accuracy. All the sketchbook pages related to Part Four are shown below.

Reworked Samples

In Exercise 4.1, there was a 100cm yarn sample that I was uninspired with but couldn’t work out how I wanted to finish it. After reviewing the collection as a whole I wanted to finish it using some of the unconventional materials that I had gathered for Exercise 4.2 to help unify the collection.

The original sample was a yarn spun from a prescription leaflet and after the submission of this assignment was delayed by a week due to health problems I wanted to continue this personal theme. I used a yarn spun from an offcut of the metal layer of insulation used in my newly built studio to ply with the prescription yarn. I then created a yarn from a plastic bag as the texture of the plastic when stretched was reminiscent of the rubber gloves worn by medical personnel during examinations.

When I wrapped the plastic ply around the core, I allowed parts of the metallic ply to “escape”. I stitched “nerves” using black cotton to represent pain and the irritation associated with being in pain when it “gets on your nerves”. The metallic insulation to me represents the excitement of having a creative space of my own despite recent health setbacks which gave me the idea to call this yarn “Silver Lining Glimmers”.

Continuing the theme of using unconventional materials I noticed that an old telephone wire had a coating that was a similar colour to the background of Craft Cotton Co.’s Give Me The Sea Boats (from Exercise 4.2) with a bright green cable inside. When I deconstructed the cable to access the green part I realised that the inside of the insulating layer had a ribbed texture which when bent created a wave effect. To hold the wave in place I twisted the green and black cores together (there was no brown) and wove a yarn that was dipped in concrete around the wire cores to create another layer of interest. All these materials have been used in the studio build (well a mains cable rather than telephone cable) and I have managed to get a wifi signal using a powerline adaptor (something that sends the internet access via the mains supply using power sockets) which gave me the idea to call this yarn sample “Creative Waves”.


As I discussed in Assignment 3, the colour resource book seemed to have a consistent colour scheme which I attempted to emphasise when I dyed a cover (a sample is shown below).

When I was planning how to display the yarn collection it became obvious that while some of the samples would sit well on card alongside a photograph of the inspiration, there were other yarns that would look best wrapped onto spools.

It was apparent that these spools were not going to be large enough for the longer or chunkier yarn samples that I had created. I decided to create my own spools from some card and toilet roll tubes. (It can be seen from the photo below that my assistance dog was less impressed as she normally gets to play with them!)

I applied a layer of dilute white acrylic to ensure that the yarn samples would be clearly seen and an example can be seen below.

I realised when I took photographs of some of the samples together that I wanted to try to unify the spools a bit more.

To make the spools look more consistent I decided to try to replicate the labels on the inherited spools. The resulting collection can be seen below.

The final conundrum was how I was going to package up the spools so they wouldn’t get damaged in the post. In the end I found a box that was just large enough to contain all the spools and chose to paint the inside white and used Mod Podge to cover the exterior with a napkin that had a similar colour scheme to my colour resource book.

The Final Yarn Collection

[All links accessed on 10/06/19]

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